Thursday, March 31, 2005


Now here is a sad story and kinda morbid too. I decided to write today about being pruned and changed into something workable. This made me think of the Greek Myth of Daphne and Apollo. Now, I have to admit that this came to me while I was ordering Hummus and Pita Bread at Daphne's Greek Cafe but that doesn't matter...I know the story either way..right? Gosh, I have to get back into school. Daphne and Apollo have a weird story. Apollo was in love with Daphne but basically Daphne wasn't feeling it. She started to run from him but he was gaining ground quickly. At this point, she called out to her father to help her and he made her into a tree. Her skin started turning into Bark and she grew branches and then Apollo (out of his love) broke some braches or something off and made a laurel wreath out of it to wear in his heartbreak I suppose. Ok, so I don't really know the story that well.

Anyway, it made me think about how I am feeling right now. I am feeling pruned and I am feeling like I am running and running from things and at that point I cry out to God (my father) and he slowly makes me into something else. My skin changes and my appearance changes and things just well..change overall. I am happy to report that this is what I want but man just like when Apollo cut those branches hurts!

Today, I got a second job finally. I am going to be an assistant at a Health Insurance Agency starting on Monday. It isn't a psych position but it sure pays my bills and gets some other goals met. The office is full of women so those of you who really know me...are realizing why this is important. I am excited about it and feel extremely blessed to be offered this position. It made my day so happy. I also heard from an old friend today that was hard to take for a second but made me take a step to get some closure! I also got a morning call from my favorite person on Earth so that makes life all the better. Thank you all so much for your prayers regarding a second job.

Anyway, back to the story. I believe that God is currently changing me in so many ways that it is painful. I know that he is pruning branches that have grown to long and scraggely. (not sure that is a word but oh well) He is finally making me into the person that he wants me to be in every possible way. I can see little by little the person I want to see in the mirror. I am truly more than blessed! This is a very painful experience at times but there are days like today when all of my pain and hard off. I have gone through some (my mom's word) DOOZIES in my life. Doozies=big problems

Either way, I am truly seeing the fruits of my labor for once. I am not sure what is going to happen in the more pressing areas but at least some areas are coming together for good! I appreciate God's direct movement in my life no matter how hard it is to have my branches cut. Poor Daphne with being made a tree and being cut on...but she has some amazing Hummus! :)

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 30, 2005:

1. A lower body workout yesterday made me understand just how strong my legs are!

2. Challenging myself is a great feeling

3. Stepping out in fear is a new thing I am getting good at.

4. Saying no and developing boundaries is more and more essential and beneficial to me daily

5. I will only give what I also receive in people. I am learning reciprocal relationships.

Thankfulness March 30, 2005:

I am thankful that I took a problem to 4 of my most trusted ladies yesterday and God moved through them. I am thankful that they were able to share their hearts and feelings with me and give me sound, wise advice that coincided with each other. I am so happy that I have these beautiful women and that I am starting to trust women! YEAH ..thank you God!


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Are you speaking Hebrew?

This morning the funniest thing happened. Richard and I were going through our morning routine of me running around folding clothes, washing dishes, putting away things he left out, etc...while Richard was taking calls, getting dressed, rushing downstairs in just his boxers to throw a pair of pants in the dryer to dodge ironing and the list goes on..when the phone rang! He was running around like mad and missed the call. The answering machine picked it up so after they had time to leave their message, Richard went down and pressed the flashing button. Suddenly a voice on the other end says Richard, Shalom and then about 2 full minutes of fluent Hebrew ending with another Shalom. I was in my room folding and hanging up clothes when I started to listen to the message. Richard pressed the button again and listened intently while I started to laugh a little downstairs and secretly wonder..."Does Richard speak Hebrew?"

Richard then picked up the phone and called the number that was on the caller id display in order to see who this person was and why they would be calling him. He called the person back and the first words he said were "Do you speak English" and started to explain that he was Richard and someone had just called him from this number and he wanted to know who it was. I don't think they spoke any English and just said goodbye to him and hung up. He started back up the stairs when I spoke up and said "Was that Hebrew?" He said yes and we both started laughing hysterically. That is funny stuff, I don't care who you are. They even called him Richard on the answering machine before they started speaking Hebrew. I told him I wondered if he spoke Hebrew and he had forgotten to tell me. We both laughed the rest of our busy morning away before he left for work.

Well, you all know know I had to make this into a learning blog! Today I have been thinking about speaking different languages. Lately I have been going through a situation where someone and I are speaking completely different languages. This person is a very important part of my life in that they are immediately connected to me. We are not doing well in our relationship because we speak love and care much differently. Sometimes I would even say this person is neglecting me and has for years.

I took this problem to a few trusted people before deciding what it is I am going to do about it. I have not yet made a decision but I am certainly praying and thinking a lot. In saying that, today's blog is going to be about speaking different love languages. There was a book written in 1996 called "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate" by Gary Chapman. This specific situation obviously isn't about my mate but either way, people speak love in different ways. The 5 love languages are as follows:

  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

Each of these languages are important to speak in some respect in all relationships but everyone sort of leans to one more strongly than another. That being said, I am a person who likes all of these languages very much and receives them all with a smile. The only problem is, I lean especially toward Words of Affirmation. I like to give them and I certainly like to receive them. Well, there are people in my life who don't speak that language in the least. They don't use affirming words and when they do they are so masked behind sarcasm that you can't see them. In the same respect, there are others who use these very well and really are great at using them to me!

My problem recently is that I am struggling in a relationship because we speak completely different love languages and this person isn't willing to step across the miles and speak mine at all. I am feeling neglected and alienated and mostly rejected so this is painful for me. I thought of that this morning after the funny episode with the Hebrew because I thought about this person and how really for us, it's like someone speaking English to someone who only understands Hebrew. I don't understand the way this person shows love and I certainly don't know how to love them correctly. Isn't this frustrating?

I thought I would share that with you today hoping you would look around you and make a list of the people closest to you and then a list beside that of their love languages. If you don't know, find out! I would highly recommend this book also as it really opens up your eyes on how to tell what is going on inside of you and inside of your friends, mates, or family. It's imperative to read if you are married, if you ask me! And you didn't.

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 29, 2005:

1. I am very frustrated at this time in so many ways and it's really good to just get away at times and be alone.

2. Sometimes phone calls from people you care about can be more hurtful than not getting them.

3. Getting played is NO fun.

4. It hurts to miss people not that I just learned this but it was a feeling that was overwhelming today.

5. There is no supplement for good medication for an ADHD child.

Thankfulness March 29, 2005:

I am thankful that I was able to talk with a friend who for a minute made me feel better about myself. I am recently stopped dating and it hurts to think that noone really wants to be in a relationship with me at this time. This friend made me understand some of my attributes and what they make him feel like. I am so frustrated with my lot in life right now that it felt good to hear a few WORDS OF AFFIRMATION! I needed them because my love bank was empty!


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Polygraph Shmolygraph

Yesterday I was watching a commercial for Goodrich service and there was a guy who worked for them hooked up to a polygraph. A customer came in and asked him questions about his service and he answered them truthfully as he was hooked up to this device. I was watching it and although it did have some comical value, it made me sad. We are a world that really does require a polygraph for just about everything. We require it to find out if our man is cheating and ask it on the Maury Povich show, we require it in court when we are trying to find out if someone is guilty, and we even require it when we are getting a job in the government.

This is really one of the saddest truths I came to last night. I went out last night and was walking in Balboa and talking to God as I usually do. I started to pray about my sin life. This is a usual occurence too since I am the queen of sin. (I admit it!) I began to pray about my dishonesty. I realized from that commercial that sometimes I live the lie so well, I forget what truth is. I think a lot of us have come to this point. I do know people who are honest and who are sometimes even brutally honest but even they, aren't the most honest people.

Really think about, when was the last time you let someone hear what you were really thinking about something? I am not saying we should all walk around with our most current feeling on a large sandwich board on our body. That isn't the idea. What I am suggesting is that it would be a better world if we all would be more authentic with who we really are. I have been trying to do this the past year, and let me tell is NOT easy!

I am going to present a situation to you and you will find out just how authentic you are...if you are honest that is. You work for a great boss. She/He is strong, capable, intelligent, willing to budge, open to ideas, and caring about your personal feelings. You love working at your job. Slowly things at your job start to change. They are not getting worse, just different. Slowly your boss is asking you to pull a little extra weight but is not offering any extra compensation. You have always been treated with the upmost respect and that hasn't changed. There are more things that seem to be out of your job description but something in you allows it to happen and feels accomplished when the boss says "Good Job Joe" (Joe is your name)

It is getting harder to complete your job in the allotted hours due to the new responsibilities but again, you just feel like your boss trusts you. When you go home at night though you have a nagging feeling in you that you really should be getting paid more or the new responsibilities will have to stop. You brood about this for weeks and finally decide to talk to you very understanding boss. What do you say?

I am not going to give you a script of what you should say but I am guessing it will be less than authentic. Some people would handle this situation very effectively because they have strong boundaries in place. Some people would handle this situation horribly and go to the boss in anger yelling and screaming about how it's not fair. My bet is that the average, everyday, most of the time scenerio would involve the person taking it for some time and then finally saying something almost in jest about all of the new responsibilities never quite asking for a raise or a cut in those responsibilities. Isn't that sad?

Now, as I said, not everyone would handle this situation badly, but, there are situations like this every day where people are being walked on and mistreated not because anyone wants to but because they allow it. There are also situations where friendships are never real because you never get to know the person you are friends with. There are also great people who like grouchy because they never take the time to authentically share what is on their heart. Again, I am not a fan of complete disclosure but I think we could take a great step and work toward not needing that polygraph. As a matter of fact, I think we wouldn't have as much cheating to display on Maury, as much crime to put through the court systems, and overall not as many shady government workers. Let's get authentic!

Here is my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 28, 2005:

1. It stinks to not be able to contact a friend on their birthday. (Long story but it made me sad)

2. It is great to hear from a friend when you miss them and want them to call so much.

3. New challenges are frustrating but they can be so rewarding also.

4. My new boundaries are making me feel so much more comfortable.

5. My frustration level is getting out of hand and it's time to take a step back.

Thankfulness March 28, 2005:

I am thankful that Joel is back safely from Costa Rica. I am thankful that he called me and thought of me yesterday. I am thankful that he had a good day at his new job although it was challenging. I am thankful that he had a great time in Costa Rica and was able to see a lot of cool stuff. I am thankful that I will soon get time with him to celebrate his birthday with him and treat him to some gifts. I am mostly thankful that I get to share my life with my beautiful friend Joel. Thanks God for such a magnificent blessing and thank you Joel! :) Welcome home sweetheart!


Monday, March 28, 2005

Dry Rot

Today I had a handyman come to the house because we are experiencing some leakage when it rains from the roof. We have a wooden roof so it is caused by what is called dry rot. Dry rot is a fungus decay which causes wood to become soft and to fall apart. Obviously if the wood is falling apart, it will leak. I know that you are less than interested in our home improvement situations but either way, I always have a reason for sharing random facts. Today I am going to talk about Dry Rot of our lives.

In a lot of ways our lives are like wood. We are strong and resilient but the more moisture (pain) that we take, the more our wood(life) starts to be damaged and collect fungus. There are ways to resist dry rot of our lives. In a situation with a roof, you want to make sure that the roof is put on correctly as well as sealed with a protective coating that makes water bead up and drip off instead of soak into the wood. Our lives are the same way. We need to make sure that we are protecting our lives and heart with a seal that is going to help the pain, damage, sin, heartache etc...drip off and go somewhere else instead of soak in and cause damage.

In our lives, there is NO way to avoid pain just like with our house, there is no way for the roof to avoid rain. Our lives will consist of a montage of serious heartbreaks, pains, sin consequences and list goes on. When this happens, if you are not prepared for the proverbial rain, your roof will get ruined. Just as there are products to protect the roof, there are ways to protect your heart and life from dry rot. Today I am hoping to share some really awesome ways to protect your heart and repair the dry rot that is already there.

Let's pretend that you have a perfect roof right now with no dry rot. Probably not true, but it's pretend after all. The first thing you want to do is make sure the roof is installed correctly. Now, to make the connection to your heart. You want to make sure that you are living your life correctly. Ask yourself the next few questions and you don't have to email me the answers.

1. Do I do things that I don't approve of?

2. Do I live my life by my own moral code?

3. Am I accomplishing the things I want to accomplish?

4. Are the things I am doing in life moving toward my ultimate goals?

5. What are my ultimate goals?

6. Do I take care of myself?

7. Am I my most important friend?

8. Do I have my priorities in order?

9. What kind of person am I?

10. Am I proud of who I am?

Some of those questions were probably pretty tough for you but they are worth answering anyway. The second thing you do to ensure no dry rot is put a protective coating on the roof. This can be a water seal or something like that (Like Thompson's water seal) *quick commerical* Let's cross apply this to life again...

Are you properly protecting your heart from dry rot. Ask yourself the next few questions and again, these are for your own good...

1. Do I allow people in my life to hurt me?

2. Do I give to my friends more than I receive from them?

3. Do I have friends who are good to me and are there for me?

4. Are there people who genuinely abuse me?

5. Are there people who take me for granted?

6. Do I do harmful things to my own body?

7. I take care of myself?

8. Do I take precautions against being in bad situations?

9. Do I place myself at the hands of danger either physically or emotionally?

10. Do I have a place to go to get away and rejuvenate?

These are important questions that will tell you if you are properly protecting your "roof" from dry rot!

Now, let's get realistic. Most of you already have some dry rot in your roof right? Let me say this a different way for those of you having a hard time following. Most of you already have some broken places in your heart right? Ok, well now I am going to suggest a few ways to deal with the dry rot that is already there. The first thing the handy man noted was that he was going to have to do a diagnostic so to speak. This means he would have to crawl up into the crawl space and take a light up there and go through and find the stained wood places. This shows where the leak actually has damaged and what part of the roof is really hurt. I would gamble to say this is the first step to healing your heart dry rot too!

You need to get into your crawl space first. This is the area of yourself where noone else can really reach because they don't fit. This is your inner being where only you know the real you. This is where the deepest and darkest secrets of yourself lie. Shine a light around in there and see where the damaged places are. For me the light went directly to family life, cancelled wedding, broken friendships, weight struggle, and losing a long relationship.

Now, you have properly diagnosed the problem but that certainly doesn't fix the issue. Now the way to deal with it is that you can't replace the whole roof or in other terms start your life over. What you can do is deal with those parts of the roof by replacing bad shingles, sealing up leaks, and protecting the wood from here. How you do that in your life is this...

1. Get into your past and start to mend fences with people, grieve things that really need grieved, ask others for help, and really examine those parts that are damaged. Slowly you are replacing your bad shingles with new ones.

2. Now you need to make sure you are sealing up those leaks, which means get out of the old habits that made the roof leak in the first place. This may mean being more assertive and not getting walked on, being more open and sharing your heart more, or dealing with a serious problem like an addiction or anger managment.

3. To protect your wood in the future, start investing in yourself. When you start taking time to be with you, you value you a lot more. You learn the things about yourself that are worthy of protecting and you start to really do damage control. I started by going on a date by myself once a week and it was a great start. Now, I spend about 2 days a week on myself and just do things that I love to do. It makes me remember my worth when someone or something is trying to damage me!

I hope that today's blog made you think a little and it wasn't too hard to follow. Take care of your dry rot or eventually your roof will cave in and you'll be destroying more than just the top of your house, the inside will be damaged beyond repair. Have a great monday and here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 27, 2005:

1. Holidays away from family can be bearable after all.

2. Talking to my family on the phone on a holiday is almost good enough.

3. The beach is by far my favorite place in California.

4. I love Churro the turtle and look forward to seeing him when I am corona del mar.

5. When I set boundaries and keep them, I do a really good job and noone gets hurt!

Thankfulness March 27, 2005:

I am thankful that my holiday wasn't so bad even though I didn't celebrate it. It is hard as this is my first Easter away from Adolfo. Although we weren't together last year, we went out for lunch together to make sure and ease the transition. I missed our easter egg hunts and the love we once had but I made it on my strength and God's arms. Thank you God for getting me through yet another milestone, That dry rot is almost fixed up! Thanks :)


Sunday, March 27, 2005

No shame or guilt

Last night I was thinking about something that was evoked through a conversation I was having with a friend and also with the fact I have been reading Atlas Shrugged this weekend like I was getting paid to do it! (You would really laugh if you had read the book right now) I was speaking with a friend who was going through a conflict with a member of their family and the conflict wasn't justified because it was a simple matter of someone making someone else feel guilty for nothing!

I will be less ambiguious and give you an example. Let's say for the sake of the blog that I was asked to babysit someone's child only 3 days a week and 5 hours a day equaling 15 hours a week. This requires me to care for the child completely for those 15 hours and I have no help and it's taking away from my usual schedule of life. They have agreed to pay me $40.00 a day (obviously $8.00/hr) *Don't worry, this is NOT a word problem* This couple are close friends of mine and their child is well behaved but either way an active 2 year old. I agree to take on the care of little churro *that's his hypothetical name*

In just 2 weeks of watching churro, they are slowly not paying me the normal $40.00 that they promised but rather paying me here and there and leaving me with churro for more than my allotted 5 hours a day. A classic case of being taken advantage of. I decide (because I am assertive and care about myself) to confront my friends and tell them that if they do not start paying me in full and on time and coming to get little churro when expected, I would have to ask them to have churro stay with someone else.

They get angry and say to me the unthinkable...." I thought you were our friend?" This is a sick way to treat your friend. I would like everyone reading this to take a look at this scenerio and think through it. Would you want to go to work everyday for 8 hours a day or whatever just to earn friendship? Would you like to go and labor at your parents house just to keep their love? Would you like to do your job daily just so your employers could feel cared for? I sure hope not..or you, my friend, are a sucker!

Working for money is NOT wrong! Working for living expenses is NOT wrong! Working for your daily necessities...NOT wrong! Working for a manicure...NOT wrong! I don't want to go through all of things that I think are not wrong to work for...but I will say this...working for someone's affection, love, respect, or otherwise is not ok and you don't have to do it. Family or not, these people are what Atlas Shrugged calls parasites and I think that's true!

We do not need to feel guilty for doing something and expecting compensation for it. I have been living my life this way for a while. Joel was the one who showed me that I really don't need to feel guilty for things that aren't my concern. He handed me a book about a year ago and said "Read this...I think you'll like it!" I wasn't sure what to think as the book was heavy and had 1,070 pages of actual text. I told him I would read it and took it home. I read a couple of chapters immediately but then let the book sit for a while. I knew if I read it, I would have to change the way I think and I wasn't sure how comfy I was with that.

I chose to finish it this weekend and I am 100 pages from the finish line. I took a break an hour ago to rest my eyes so here I am in front of the computer, go figure! I have read 200-300 pages at a time and learned so much that I literally took the book away from my face to say "Wow!" This book is obviously Atlas Shrugged and I highly recommend but it's not for the weak and if you are weak, you won't be after this book!

Saying this leads me to tell you this....Don't mold yourself to someone elses ideal of who you need to be. Be your ideal self and if you aren't doing things to become that...Stop what you are doing and start doing things to become that! Thanks for knowledge dear friends, each of you share with me daily!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 26, 2005:

1. If you allow all of your senses to be somewhere and experience something, it's so much fun and relaxing.

2. Sometimes you have to live your fantasy!

3. If you are doing something and you are questioning your behavior...ask yourself "Does this get me closer to my goals?" If not...STOP!

4. Secrecy is like a bunch of termites getting into your house. If you see them and call an exterminator, you will save your house. If you don't, they will eat away what you own. Secrets are the same. If you get secrets out in the open, they have NO power. If you keep them locked away, they eat away your foundation.

5. Always take time to remember what you have, you will then realize that missing what you don' kinda silly!

Thankfulness March 26, 2005:

I am thankful for my friend Carrie back home. She is precious and we are able to share our hearts with each other at any time and pick up where we leave off. She is a beautiful person and great friend and I am SOOOO Lucky to have her. You are precious dear friend and I love you!


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Saturday = a sensory experience!

Today is a gorgeous day in Southern California. I have been awake since 7 am and it has been a glorious day! I woke up and weighed myself since it's Saturday and I am maintaining at 236 lbs. I am frustrated with the weight loss situation but refuse to get overwhelmed because I have been sick and I am getting healthier no matter what. I layed in bed until 9:30 reading Atlas Shrugged and burned over 100 pages. I began to get hungry so I decided to get up and make myself some breakfast. I made a scrambled egg, 2 slices of toast, and a bowl of oatmeal and sat down at the kitchen table with my fitness magazine to enjoy the solitude of morning. I finished my magazine and breakfast and cleared the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher and headed downstairs to straighten my room and begin my day. Actually to begin my fantasy weekend.

I made my bed, cleaned up paperwork, and got ready to head to the beach. I drove down to Corona Del Mar and parked my car away from the beach to encourage a longer walk. I grabbed Atlas Shrugged out of my passenger seat and headed for the bench that overlooks the ocean. For a brief moment I looked at the ocean and thought of how lucky I am to live here in California. I am lucky that I have the luxury of looking at the ocean every single day. I opened my book, put my bookmark in my pocket and escaped once again into the land of Atlas Shrugged. This book gets more moving with each page so I pretty much lose any sense of reality around me.

I sat on the bench reading until I reached the new chapter mark and my butt had gotten sore from the really hard beach bench. I took my book back to the car, threw it in the passenger seat and started my leisurely stroll around Corona Del Mar. As I walked I did what I usually do, think about things that never really cross your mind in the busy-ness of a week. I noticed the intricate details of the people that passed like the fact that this lady named one of her dogs Biscuit. I began to think of how pleasant the word biscuit is to me and how much it reminds me of Indiana. (Biscuits and Gravy) I then noticed the old couples sitting at lookout point where everyone watches the sunset. I thought about the love that must have kept these people together over so many years. I then allowed every sensory experience to really reach me. I smelled the burning of charcoal which again took me home to Indiana where my mom has the most mouth watering barbecue ever.

I heard the click click of a skateboard rolling over the sidewalk and noticed the beautiful black man who was riding it and observed he was carrying on a very active conversation on his cell phone while maintaining perfect balance and riding the skateboard like it he was walking, without thought. I noticed the couples holding hands and walking that were the exact replica of what I view beauty to be, a dark man and a pale ceramic girl. I myself, am pretty pale so I appreciate the look of dark men beside a beautiful specimen such as that :)

I noticed this planter on the table of a patio I passed that was a brightly colored turtle that had an opening on his shell for the plant that inhabited it. I fell in love with him immediately and named him churro because well I like Churros! I walked past thinking how pleasant it would be if someone saw this planter and thought of me and my love for turtles. I walked past a beautiful house that was so large I could not put it into words. It seems to encompass half of a block and has children's playthings in the yard. It made me think of a perfect family and it had a flag hanging from the upper level rafters that said "Make amends with someone today." I thought that was an interesting thing to put on a flag and began to go through my rolodex of people I should make amends with.

I walked a little further and saw an enormous stairway consisting of probably 100-150 stairs that led down to the beach. I looked down for a minute and thought of how exhausting the climb up would be but decided it was worth it. I began to walk down the stairs enjoying the salty sea air that was blowing in my face which was a relief because it is hot today. I got to the bottom and looked around to see what I could see. I noticed a couple with their dog at the doggy water fountain filling himself up. I looked right and noticed a house that had a private part of the beach where there were 6 beautiful young white men playing beach volleyball. Yes, today I even saw beauty in white men. I am trying people!

I got over being down there and decided it was time for my climb back up. I looked at the stairs and groaned a little but decided on each landing, I would reward myself with a little break. I began to take the stairs and could hear my heartbeat pounding loudly in my chest and could feel my breath getting more and more shallow. I was proud of myself for taking this steps. I decided I didn't need a break after each landing so I just continued on until I reached the top. As I ascended, an old couple walked by and the lady smiled so sweetly at me and said "Good Morning Dear!" I was happy to see someone so pleasant who could attest to me actually climbing those stairs.

I walked down the beach again and noticed things around me. I looked around at vehicles and noticed three Acuras and four Mustangs. The mustangs must have been driven by bad drivers because everyone was badly parallel parked. The beautiful silver one had a tire up on the curb and I thought of the damage it was doing and cringed. There was a beautiful metallic blue Acura RSX that caught my eye and for a minute, I experienced extreme lust. I walked past it and noticed the lady in front of me was the owner of Biscuit the dog and again thought of home.

She started to run with her dogs and said hello to me since we had met quite a few times on our walk. I said how cute Biscuit was and she smiled and thanked me. I headed back to my car because my senses were overloaded. I got into my hot Cavalier that I love like no other and rolled down the window because it was so stuffy. My cd player started to play John Mayer's "Not myself" and I began to sing along and smile at who it made me think of.

I pulled away from the curb and from my amazing oasis from the dessert of the world and realized that today, I had lived my fantasy. I had taken in every aspect of the beach and enjoyed it. I had not worried about past due bills, relationships I couldn't force, friendships gone bad, or even my health or how many calories I was burning. I simply dwelled in California and realized...I am truly home!

Thanks for stopping by everyone and if you aren't in California, I hope you could smell the smells, feel the feelings, hear the noises, and mostly experience my love for my new home. I miss Indiana so much and I love and miss my friends and family there but I know I am where I belong. This is indeed my love for California, spelled out.

Here are my learning and thankfuless for yesterday:

Learning March 25, 2005:

1. Good friday is such a profound day and I am learning more about it every year of my walk with God.

2. I feel like things should be closed on Good Friday.

3. Atlas Shrugged is suprising me every single chapter.

4. I do have self control at times and I am learning to walk away from bad situations.

5. My time with God is priceless and I have to start experiencing it daily.

Thankfulness March 25, 2005:

I am thankful for Good Friday. It was the day that my Lord and Savior beat this world and all of it's sickness by taking a beating for it, getting killed for it! He did the unthinkable for you and for me! He loves us so much. Since this is my thankfulness...I am so thankful he did it for me and my sin. I love you Lord and thank you so much! *If you haven't seen the passion, this is a great time to see it*


Friday, March 25, 2005

My weekend fantasy

When you logged on today and saw the title of the blog you probably thought..."oh great, Erica's perverted sense of humor rears its ugly head.." Nope, today I am keeping it clean. I have a fantasy in my head for this weekend. This week has been rough for me because I am fighting a bit of an illness and haven't been able to work out at all. I was able to take a walk or two but that isn't enough for me. This morning when I woke up, the pain in the left side of my throat had mysteriously jumped to the right side. I have no idea what's going on in my throat but I know it's not good.

Lately I have been trying to remember that I am the most important thing in my life. Without me, there is no life for me! *Yeah I realize that was redundant* So in thinking that, I am going to spend this weekend getting better and taking time out for myself. This is going to include sleeping in if I can manage it, reading atlas shrugged and finishing it, *hopefully* taking walks on the beach, going to the gym and trying to work out and not hurt myself, and working on my scrapbook and playing the piano. Sounds like a relaxing weekend huh?

This morning I had an interview on Lido Island. It's a cute little place in Newport Beach that is just gorgeous and makes me think of a little getaway from it all. It reminds me of Balboa but a little further removed. I had an interview with a guy who works for Prudential Real Estate out of the Newport Beach office. He is a realtor and he needs an assistant. I have done a job close to this before with Richmond Home Loan and although I didn't like some of the aspects of it, I am always in love with organizing and maintaining some balance in someone's life.

This guy's name is Sean and he was super nice. I would be working out of his home office and managing things for the real estate business as well as the other job he does which is slips for Yachts. (Why is Yacht spelled so crazy?) He is looking for someone about 3 days a week to start and that is actually ideal for me. It offers me the income I need to be able to be comfortable again which makes me happy. He had a few others to interview before making a decision but stated before I left that he felt VERY optimistic about me. He is supposed to get back to me either on Monday or Tuesday of next week and let me know. Please keep the prayers coming because I could really use a second income right now!

I also have another option lined up where I am sending my resume and references to another guy who needs an assistant 5 days a week. I am not sure which one God is going to lead me to but either way, I am deeply trusting him for once! I have learned that he really is in control and I know I can fully trust him now. I would really like to have had a position in the field of psychology but God always leads me where he wants me so I have to trust that I am going the right direction.

Today's plans are to take mimi (our cat) to the vet in an hour because she is having breathing problems and then get on with my plans. I want to get Joel's birthday present finished this weekend, work on my piano skills, read a lot, get better, go to the beach, and just relax. For those of you who I haven't told yet, I have decided to take myself out of the "Dating Game" for a while. Some really big issues have sprung up and they make me sad. I am going to go back to just living my life for God and praying for the right man to be in my sphere of influence because dating makes me sick. I don't mean that to offend anyone who I have dated but it's sad to think that the world is made up of these kinds of people. I am just sad about it but I have a life to live on the way through so it's ok.

Well, I should get going for the day but thank you for stopping in and here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday.

Learning March 24, 2005:

1. There is much to be said for mending fences.

2. I love walking in Balboa and I miss it since I have been sick.

3. I hate a sore throat.

4. A filling in your tooth actually weakens the tooth (hmmmm)

5. The crest spinbrush is amazing.

Thankfulness March 24, 2005:

I am thankful for a great conversation with my old friend Brooke last night. We have been able to catch up a bit and I am finally healthy enough to be friends with her again and I love her to pieces. She is a great girl and has much to offer in a friendship. I just adore her and I am so glad I have her. Thanks God for Brookie and Thanks Brooke for the great talk.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Serenity Now!

Does anyone watch Seinfeld? I sure do. It's a whole cast of Jews and you have to love that. There was an episode where Frank (Jerry Stiller) was struggling with high blood pressure and every time it started to get high he would yell "Serenity Now." It was a funny episode and so I thought I would use that as my blog title today since I will be talking about Serenity.

Serenity is defined as "the absence of mental stress or anxiety." I have tried to learn to live in Serenity for the last year since someone told me I don't know how to truly relax. My life used to be full of anxiety and mental stress. It would come from numerous sources but only I could truly allow it to captivate me and take me prisoner. I would allow stress to take me from all angles whether it be financial, family, friends, school, relationships, etc... I would take any and all stress that others had to dish out and every situation had to offer. I somewhat basked in all of the stress I could consume and not kill myself. Now, I am happy to just let someone else worry about it because it isn't mine to stress over.

I have found some ways to find true serenity and I wanted to share those with you today if you are one of those people who bask in stress. I have 4 distinct things I have brought into my life to help me experience true serenity. It's not about the lack of stress so much as the presence of true serenity. Here are my ways of experiencing it and then I will tell you the benefits...

1. The first thing I did was find a getaway. Mine happens to be the beach since I live in So. California. I realize that some of you (HOOSIERS) do not have that option. Just find a place where you can go (alone) and bask there. You can do your thinking there and toss the worries to the wind. I usually go to the beach and set on a bench and people watch, take a leisurely walk in the sand, or take a run and create some endorphins. Either way I always enjoy my time there and it's sacred to me. Here is a great picture I took at the beach not too long ago so you can see my serene place.

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2. I surround myself with people who are low stress. It's not good to always be around people who bring stress. It is one thing to help people and one thing to carry their stress upon yourself. Find people who literally take the stress out of you. My two people are Britt and Joel. Britt is my little sister and best friend in the world. She is funny, relaxing, and sweet and makes my life easier. Joel is low stress and doesn't ever sweat things at all. He is also very comfortable letting me confide in him and not taking my stress upon himself. Therefore, I know I can rest there. Here are my two favorite de-stressing people...

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3. I took up two new hobbies and interests that really make me feel good about myself, challenge, but also make me lighten up and just relax. The two things I took up were piano and scrapbooking. I am in the beginning stages of learning the piano and am quite a ways into my first scrapbook and I am so excited about both. They make me feel relaxed and happy.

4. The last one is kind of obvious but LAUGH! I love to laugh and sometimes I have to do it because I need to. I will talk to someone funny, watch a light hearted movie or sitcom (like Seinfeld with the Jews) or watch comedy central (because I love it) I really love to laugh and it just naturally de-stresses and brings serenity to my life. Here is something that really makes me laugh ...

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Ok, now I want to tell you a few benefits of finding serenity...

1. No emotional eating
2. Healthier and you don't get sick as much
3. pleasant to be around
4. Don't take on problems that aren't yours
5. sleep better

and the list goes on...

Please take some time and find your serenity. Until then, here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday. Have a great day.

Learning March 23, 2005:

1. Making bitter herbs for someone to be medicated with smells like weed.

2. I am getting really good at this piece on the piano that was once a challenge.

3. I really liked "Three weeks in Paris" and would like to read more things from this author.

4. I appreciate a McFlurry with M&M's

5. Atlas shrugged is getting so good! Almost done!

Thankfulness March 23, 2005:

I am thankful for a friend picking up the phone last night when I really needed someone to lean on and just cry to. I was feeling pretty ill (have an infection) and I just needed to cry and say how much I missed home. He was a great friend to me and I am thankful!


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Three weeks in Paris

So I just finished a book yesterday that I really enjoyed. As you have probably guessed from the title of my blog, it was "Three weeks in Paris" by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I just got the book on a fluke when I was strolling through the library and casually stopped at the much hated books on cd section. I thought about it and realized I could take advantage of this convenience and be justified because I drive a lot and work out a lot. This is a great way to pass the time in the car or on the treadmill where it is hard to actually read a book. I started it and listened to it in various places like going to get Chris from Corona, on the treadmill, laying in bed nursing a bad shoulder, etc...

This book was a work of art. I am not sure if I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if it was in printed form because it had a great narrator. She could do all of the accents that I myself could never have conquered. There are characters in the book from Russia, France, Scotland, etc and that narrator could do them all. She even did male and female voices and you just believed it. You could tell when the characters changed and to be honest, I am more impressed with the narrator than with the author. Ideally though, it was an excellent book.

Today I am writing about this book because it had a lot of psychological implications within it. There were four distinct stories of four young women who had went to an art insititude in Paris. It was so amazing because each of the characters had a struggle that I viewed as very psychological. I would encourage you to pick up this book if you are interested after this blog, soooo good! Here are the run down of their issues and the strong lessons I learned from them:

Alexa: ok, Alexa dated ( in Paris) a guy named Tom Conners and he had lost both his wife and his daughter in a tragic terrorist attack. It was powerful. I realized that sometimes it is important to move on and grieve something fully before involving someone else in your mixed up craziness.

Jessica: Jessica's man (Louciane) *not sure how to spell as it was a book on cd* disappeared without a trace and left her uncertain of her future. I learned here that sometimes people choose selfish things and you can't take that on yourself but rather, move on and do what's best for you!

Maria: Maria struggled with her weight and how she appeared to others. I think we all see how I related to this. I learned from Maria that when you want have to just go and get it!

Kay: Kay had been highly abused in her past and allowed that to halt intimacy in her marriage. Again, pretty clear how this relates to me but I thought about it and sometimes we just need to tell the people we care about where we have come from and allow them to care for us and lead us to healing.

This book was supposed to be a drama/romance or something but to me, it was a interesting psychological piece of literature. Imagine me seeing the psych in it!?

Anyway, I wanted to tell you all that this was a great book and although a little scandalous at times, VERY interesting!

Please pray because I have a job interview on Friday at 10:00 in the morning and it looks like it would be a good deal for my finances at least! Please please pray! Also, I have a sinus infection right now and my glands are swollen so prayers for healing would be appreciated!

Have a great day and here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 22, 2005:

1. I am quite good at picking up things on the piano. I like my skills musically.

2. Shoulders and Neck are so essential to everything you do that you must be careful not to hurt them.

3. Last night I made BBQ chicken and Richard said "Dinner was excellent" I love the way it feels to create a great dining experience.

4. I am moving toward being done with Atlas Shrugged and this is by far the most profound reading I have ever done!

5. Finances do not have the power over me that they did when I was a control-freak. I am proud of myself for learning to control my control issues! :)

Thankfulness March 22, 2005:

I am thankful that Richard appreciates the hard work that I do for him and Christopher. I am thankful that God has given me such an amazing way to impact two men who don't know HIM. I am thankful that I have such a great force of energy in my job and it is the first job I have enjoyed so much that I do it when I am ill or injured, gladly. It certainly makes me think. Thank you God!


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Shoulders are essential

Have you ever pinched a nerve in your neck/shoulder area? Well, I did recently. Today I am in a world of pain because at some point, I messed up my shoulder. I am going to be spending most of my day in bed with a heating pad on my left side. I am going to get a book out and just veg. I know that later in the day I will be running around with Chris so now is the time to rest and relax my neck. This little pain made me realize how essential shoulders and neck really are in your life.

I started my day out by trying to get out of the bed and realizing the extreme pain I was in. I had a stressful day yesterday and I think maybe I tensed up. Well, I began to make breakfast which is also a challenge with the limited capacity of moving your neck in one direction. It's amazing how much you use your neck and shoulders in a day.

Overall, I really don't feel well enough to sit in front of the computer and tell you all my life lesson today other than the essential nature of the neck. I need a massage today more than I ever have. My plan for the afternoon is to down some advil, cuddle up in my bed with a heating pad and read a book. Please say a prayer for my poor body as it's really under attack. Also, I would like to ask you all for prayer regarding my finances. I am currently taking a huge step and trying to refinance my car in the hopes of helping my budget and paying some bills off in collections and it would be a huge miracle if anyone would offer me the loan I need ($4,000). Please pray as I hate doing this but also really need to. Have to be a responsible adult ya know!?

Well, I should get back into bed and have some lunch so please have a great day and sorry this wasn't deeper today. Please lift your prayers up. I need them. Learning and thankfulness ahead!

Learning March 21, 2005:

1. I care about Richard and get concerned when I think he is hurt.

2. Raising a child is not something I have ever thought I was good at but I am one heck of a parent now days.

3. Piano is much more feasible when you have a great teacher like Miss Hannah Stanton!

4. I am a great grocery shopper and accomplish much with what I have.

5. I manage a household pretty well. I wish God would trust me with a husband now. Wait, I never said I would be a good wife though huh?

Thankfulness March 21, 2005:

I am thankful that Richard got home safely after a weekend trip where I had no idea when he would be back. He got back at midnight or so last night and I wasn't sure he was ok. I am grateful that God brought him home safely!

Thanks for stopping in and ~Shalom~

Monday, March 21, 2005

Going out of business

This morning I went for a little drive after I dropped Christopher off at school, as I often do. I usually cruise down Jamboree and take a right onto PCH and head into Costa Mesa where I just go down Newport and get back on the freeway to my house. Just a quick little drive and I usually listen to a book on cd while I drive just because it's something to do. I noticed this morning on PCH in Newport that this little hole in the wall rug store is going out of business and I started to think about that. It had big orange and yellow signs that said "Going out of Business" and "80% off Everything." Most of you are thinking..."SO WHAT ERICA?!" Well, I am getting somewhere with this.

Everyday I try to take my daily chores or activities and learn something or think through something I haven't thought through before. Today I thought about the implications of going out of business. It's a sad thought but I started to think about the good parts of it. The sad parts are obvious like that your business failed or went under, you lose your customers as friends, you maybe lose a profit, and most likely you feel a sense of loss and grief as with anything. I am here today to talk about the great things about going out of business and try to apply it to an emotional life.

In a sense, I have went out of business. A few years ago, business as usual went like this. My week was filled with school and assignments and fun extracurricular activities like Vanguard's amazing keggers! (I am totally kidding, don't try to get my degree revoked) The weekends were spent with Adolfo doing all kinds of fun things. We would go shopping, go to the beach, watch movies, eat dinner together, I would cook dinner for him, etc... The life of a girlfriend. On Monday my week was start back over and it would all happen again. I would sell rugs as usual.

Well my life went out of business. I graduated college and don't have classes, assignments, or extracurriculars anymore. I left Adolfo because our life together wasn't happy so I lost the shopping dates, movies, cooking for someone, eating with someone, etc... All of the pleasant things about being someone's girl! I completely went out of business. I did what any other young business woman would do, I cried and grieved my business.

Today, I realized how happy I am to be out of business. I miss school but that part of my life is over and I am moving onto higher levels of education and advancing of myself. I miss Adolfo and being a girlfriend (mostly being a gf) but I don't miss fighting, worrying, crying, and mostly being completely and utterly frustrated with everything he did! It was time for my little store to roll up the carpet and call it a day!

Today, I am starting a new business. I am starting the new chapter of my life. I am working diligently to plant seeds of success for when I open my new store. My new store will consist of Graduate School in the field of clinical psychology. I will have new classes and new assignments and new projects to take my time. My new store will have a gorgeous, sweet, amazing, man of God in it who I enjoy to the fullest. (No, I have no idea who he is....yet) *You all are smiling and saying "DUH ERICA" right now!* :)

In saying this, I am in an awkward part of my business. I am in the place where you go from bank to bank trying to find a loan to open your store. I am in the process of finding a location perfect to trade my wares. I am looking for the perfect inventory and the right pricing scale. I am looking for the exact quality products that I wish to sell. I am looking for the right marketing material so people will know what's in my store. I am looking to uphold honest and moral business practices to customers will trust me! Is everyone following this or is it another mindless piece of my writing?!

Anyway, I would appreciate your prayers for my new "business" and I will be praying for those of you who are currently going out of business. It is a sad time but rather a turning over of a new leaf. Look at it as God's next business venture for you! Thank you for all of your prayers and for reading my sorted thoughts. Have a great new week and here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday!

Learning March 20, 2005:

1. Sleep is essential for me to feel right. I am getting about 6-8 hours a night now and it's priceless.

2. Southern California aggravates me because of all of the ants. Can we just get all of these ants out of here?!

3. I have mentioned to some of you that I was thinking about a move. I am not any longer thinking about a move. I am staying in California, where I belong today!

4. I fully enjoy driving a long distance and listening to a book on cd through it. I know I am mostly against these but I enjoy them in the car. If I am able to read a book..I would rather read it but this is an exception.

5. A rubber chicken is still pretty funny if you think about it! *random*

Thankfulness March 20, 2005:

I am thankful that Christopher and I enjoy each other's company. Getting him back on Sunday is always a pleasure because I have had time to miss him. I am going to make sure my own kids go and stay at friend's houses, go to camp, that I can get a break. This is probably really good for parenting. I am thankful that I make Chris laugh and we have such a good time together. Britt is usually a part of this on the phone too! Thanks God for this precious little boy!


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Legally Blonde/Psychologically Blonde

Seldom do I venture into tv-land as I really don't enjoy television. I won't say I don't enjoy some programs like I am a "starting over" fanatic and everyone knows my passion for the sexy Dr. Phil. However, today I was home alone again and realized how little tv I watched so decided to enjoy my dinner in front of the tube. I stumbled upon "Legally Blonde" which I not only enjoy but also have a copy of. I would appreciate if you would stop laughing at my taste in good cinematic quality now! I came in on the part where Elle is just realizing that Warner doesn't really view her as a smart girl. Picture the part where she is dressed as a playboy bunny!

I began to watch this fine film and realized how it makes me feel. I am a person that constantly tries to find something to enjoy or learn in everything I do and that's hard to do with tv. If I feel like it's mindless, I usually don't engage in it. Today, I found some nuggets of wisdom from the lovely Miss Elle Woods. This movie, if you haven't seen it is about a California girl who appears to be shallow and is a fashion major. She loses her man as he goes away to Harvard Law School and goes to win him back by getting into Harvard. Now, I realize that the reality of her actually being able to get into Harvard with a video is very low but still...stay with me.

She then gets to Harvard and not only realizes that Warner is not the guy for her but also learns of her power and passion within law. A similar thing happened to me a few years ago. Most of you know that in 2001 Adolfo cancelled our long awaited wedding the day before it and at that time I was a faithful elementary education major. I should note here..I don't view elementary ed as minor or mindless before I get emails! :) Anyway, I spent the next year of pain and heartache realizing that I wasn't doing my passion and when I did come to California (for my man ultimately) I learned he was not the man for me and learned that Psychology was my passion.

Elle finds law to be her passion and the movie ends up having a very happy ending where Elle wins a law suit and also finds a new man who appreciates her values and attributes (she meets him at Harvard by the way ...anyone following this?) He is played by the gorgeous Luke Wilson. *Yes, I do find a white man appealing after all*

After watching this movie over dinner, I got my power back. As I watched it I realized that I have to start working for what I love so much. I have to get back in the books, back thinking about Grad school, back working to pay off debts in order to be in Grad School, back in the saddle so to speak! I admit it, I was completely and utterly motivated by Rees Witherspoon and a teenage girl movie!

Ok, so that being said, tomorrow is a new week and I have goals. I have to get together and start making progress in my life. I am feeling like I am desperately in need of healing, motivation, and health. I hope this little parable helps you get motivated too and get back to your real passion or find your passion. To someone out there reading this who I know wants to get out and back to their original passion: I am so proud of you for making hard choices and moving toward somethign that fulfills you! You know who you are!

Here is my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 19, 2005:

1. Pita Bread and Hummus fills me up and is low on calories.

2. Enjoying housework can be interesting. I put on some tunes yesterday and did dishes and laundry while dancing around the house (funny thought...I know)

3. I love clean sheets and pillow cases on my bed.

4. There is no feeling like cuddling up on the couch with a comfy blanket in your pajamas fresh out of the shower and watching Fresh Prince until you doze off.

5. I like having late night talks with certain boys. :)

Thankfulness March 19, 2005:

I am thankful for a full day alone in my house. I am thankful that I was able to get stuff done, enjoy some television, dance around while noone watched, and sang at the top of my lungs. I used to take for granted alone time and now I relish it. I am so thankful for the house to myself this weekend. It was glorious! It's good to have people back too though!!! Thank you God!


Saturday, March 19, 2005

All by myself

Since it's Saturday, I will start the post by reporting that I lost a pound this week and I weighed in at 236 lbs. I am excited and hoping that the scales continue to move!

Have you noticed that when you are alone, you have all of these plans to be very productive and it ends up, you just enjoy the alone time? That has been my case for the last few days. On Friday morning Richard left for a lil vacation for the weekend. I was left with the house and it's been so pleasant. On Friday I just chilled at the house and did things like work on Joel's birthday present, cleaned my room, read, and other little things and then had a date in the evening. It went really well and we had a great time and hung out a little at the house!

Today I had a morning date and then have just chilled and enjoyed the alone time. I took a little nap in the living room and it was peaceful and just ate hummus and pita bread to my heart's content. That is my new passion by the way..HUMMUS! :) I love that stuff. I have done laundry, worked on Joel's present, talked to folks on the phone, and just chilled. I am looking forward to some time with a friend tonight with a movie or two. Hopefully we just have a fun time and get to hang out and enjoy each other.

I have learned over the span of months the value of alone time and I really have been able to soak it up with Richard gone. I would love to just get away by myself to a bed and breakfast for a few days. That sounds like a treat to me. I wish I had the $$$ to do it and just go somewhere peaceful for a little retreat! Anyone have any ideas?

Well that's my piece of knowledge for the day. I need to go and make my bed as I just washed the sheets and pillow cases. Don't you love a fresh bed? I also have dishes to do, a grocery list to construct, and a few books I would love to delve into. Off to alone time. Have a pleasant Saturday Evening!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days:

Learning March 17, 2005:

1. I love St. Patrick's Day because I have big green eyes and they come in handy. I woregreen anyway but oh well.

2. Heather Barrington is a fun lunch date and I enjoy time with her. We are just able to talk and talk and the time flies. I am lucky to have her.

3. Sometimes leaving something you know really well is a good experience and can teach you extraordinary things about yourself.

4. Telling someone a really deep secret can feel freeing and also help you to see the good and bad in the decision.

5. Talking about people in your life can help you realize their worth and how much you miss them!

Learning March 18, 2005:

1. Massage therapy has a lot of facets to it and it's something I would really like to learn.

2. I learned that Vin Diesel is Puerto Rican. God bless that Puerto Rico!

3. The part of my knee that is messed up is the Miniscus...I guess that is how you spell it but it is at the bottom of my knee and the cartlidge is all messed up.

4. Hummus is one of my favorite foods! :)

5. Sometimes chillin with someone unexpected can really lighten your mood and help you see what you are missing in life.

Thankfulness March 17, 2005:

I am thankful for time with my friend Heather. She made me a great lunch and provided me with great conversation. I learned a lot about her life and find that she makes wise choices and she deserves all of the happiness that God is giving her. I have so much faith in what God has for Heather and I am thankful that she is in my life! :) Thanks for a great day Heather and I love you girl :) Thanks for listening to my story!

Thankfulness March 18, 2005:

I am thankful for a massage. I know that sounds strange but I had a massage and it was glorious. My knee has been in constant pain for as long as I can remember...going on about 2-3 years now. I have lost a lot of weight and it's changed the balance of my body therefore creating some stress on my knee. I have osteoarithritis in my right knee and it can really bug me! I had a total rub down and my life is great today. My knee is just happy! I am looking forward to getting it in better shape and having more pain free days. God, thank you for a massage! :)


Thursday, March 17, 2005

missing people is excruciating!

Happy Thursday to you and today's post is not a happy one necessarily but I am not sad so no worries. Lately I have learned the value of people in my life. Missing people is a job I have had to do for 3 years now and beyond. I have lost a lot of people in my life to moves, broken relationships, and the such. I am overwhelmed with this and miss a lot of people. I have always dealt with distance and it's amazing how God trusts me with that. I wonder why he is fashioning me to be so alone in life but I thank him for it as it makes me so much stronger.

I just wanted to write today quickly and tell you all that I miss you. I know I haven't seen a lot of anyone lately so I have to be missing you! I miss talks, walks, outings, dinners, relationships, fun times, serious times, etc... I am just missing my friends and family. I love you all dearly and I am sorry the post is so short today but I thought I would just make it plain and simple. I love you all and miss you to pieces. Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 16, 2005:

1. There is this great teaching supply store in Fountain Valley called Lakeshore Learning Center on Brookhurst...check it's awesome if you have kids!

2. Ritalin is much cheaper than Concerta!

3. I am not really that good about my multiplication tables in the 12's. I don't think I ever learned those well. My school was satisfied through 11's.

4. Reading is really hard for little kids and it's so imperative to spend about 30 minutes in outloud reading a day. It really does increase literacy a great deal.

5. Missing my family is a hard thing for me and I feel very removed from everyone's life. Even my peeps in Cali are feeling far away right now. I feel lost and alone but God is with me!

Thankfulness March 16, 2005:

I am thankful for God's peace. Lately I have had a lot of circumstances where I should be really worried and stressed and normally would be. Luckily I have learned how to trust God and God has placed such amazing people in my path to say "Erica, it's going to be alright and we'll work it out!" I am so strapped financially and God is whispering in my ear that it will be ok. I have seen no evidence of this but I know he is bigger than my circumstances. I love you so much Lord!


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sparkle and a nugget of wisdom!

Happy Wednesday everyone and I hope you are all doing well. I am utterly enjoying life and learning new lessons every single day about trusting God. I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday because I spent my entire afternoon off with Joel. You all know that is priceless to me but even more so as he is spending 11 days away in Costa Rica starting today. I went over and got to spend some much needed time with him and the kids and his grandma. It was so great for me and relaxing as usual. He makes me sane! :)

My title today is probably very confusing at first and doesn't seem to be profound like most of my witty bantor. Indeed it is deep though. This morning as I was teaching Christopher how to make scrambled eggs and put him in charge of finishing them up, I grabbed a paper towel from the dispenser and it had a quote on it and little sailboats and anchors. This is the quote on my Sparkle paper towels..."I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails in order to reach my destination." I thought that was really pretty profound for something that was going to clean up the egg that Christopher just spilled on the counter.

I thought about that as I finished up helping him with breakfast. By the way, he burned them a little but otherwise, they were tasty! This quote really struck a chord with me regarding my present life. I have thought about how my winds have been directed. I have had a pretty rough life for most of you that know my story. I will never claim it to be the roughest life or even close but it's not been a picnic all the time. Well, this paper towel inspired me this morning. It made me remember that God loves me so much and although the winds around me might be blowing in all directions, I have the power in God, to adjust my sails. Note to you...always pay for the expensive paper towels...they have bright people working on those! :)

As I sat thinking about this today and realized how important it is to really allow God to guide your life and sail your to speak, it was hard for me. I have always had an issue with control. I like to be in control of anything I can be. This goes for relationships, health, well-being, friendships, work, money, time, etc... I have learned in the past year that I cannot control everything...really...hardly anything. I can control only those things that God allows me to have. I have given him the rest of my life and prayed that he will guide me and direct me from here.

A lot of you know that I am in a place of limbo in a lot of areas of my life. This can be hard but in a sense it's really comforting. I am in a place where I don't know who I am going to marry, who will love me, who will be my friends, where I will live, what job I will have, what grad school to go to, how I will pay my bills, what church is home etc... This is a hard time and place for me to be as a control freak but I am willing to bet that it's exactly where God wants me in order to place control in his hands.

I am slowly becoming a woman who allows God to control her life...not a woman who likes to control others. I wanted to take the time today to share this sparkle nugget of truth with you but also to pat myself on the back. I am not bad about saying what is good about me because I love myself very much....but this is a huge one for me to give control completely to God and just trust! I would encourage the rest of you to live this kind of freedom. It's delightful. Well, here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days. Enjoy!

Learning March 14, 2005:

1. It's really nice to contact family you haven't heard from in years and get caught up on their lives.

2. Prayer is so effective and I am seeing so many answers!

3. I am looking forward to time with friends this week (Heather and Joel)

4. It's ok to take a few days off from the big things in life like losing weight and stressing about goals.

5. Love is interesting and can seriously be quick and also very slow! God HELP ME!

Learning March 15, 2005:

1. Gavin has got to be the cutest, funniest kid that ever graced my life.

2. Watching a man fix a car is like gold to me.

3. Joel really cares about my future and challenges me to think things through.

4. A strut bar makes the car turn together instead of independently.

5. Joel looks so much like his dad but there are some things that just radiate from his grandma. I love him and his family!

Thankfulness March 14, 2005:

I am thankful that I have people in my life who speak truth. I hate when people just disappear and never come full circle with relationships. It's so hard to find people out there who are genuine, honest, and faithful so I am so lucky to have the friends that I have. They are precious to me!

Thankfulness March 15, 2005:

I am thankful for time with Joel and his family. I adore spending time with him and learning things about him. I had such a good time with him and it was more fun than I have had in a while. We don't have to do anything for me to enjoy myself. Time with him is so precious to me and I am super lucky to have him! Thanks for a great day Joel! :)


Monday, March 14, 2005

Hurry up and wait Erica....

Today's post is going to be about an unpleasant subject. WAITING! We all hate that word. We hate waiting in every circumstance. Ours is a society where waiting doesn't have to happen. We have microwaves so there is no waiting on dinner. We have freeways so there is no waiting on traffic...oh wait....yes we do wait on the freeway! :) Anyway, we have books on tape so we don't have to wait to read the book to know the ending. We have express lanes at the grocery store so we don't have to wait on the people with kids to get through the line. (I am one of those people with kids now!)

Waiting is hardly ever seen as a opportunity but rather as an inconvenience. Today, I am going to tell you why waiting is an opportunity. Do I do it perfectly? NO! Do I even do it well?? NO! Either way, I am doing it and it's not all bad. God has had me in a place of waiting for over a year. I have been waiting on numerous things. I have been waiting on my man (and this could take several more years). I have been waiting on my weight loss while working extra hard. I have been waiting on friendships to be reconciled. I have been waiting on a certain man to notice me on a new level (could be impossible). I have been waiting on a new job and my life to come together. I have been waiting on healing from brokenness. I have been waiting on so much I am almost more comfortable with waiting now..than I am with receiving!

I sit today with all of these areas still on hold. I am still sitting on the phone with God with Michael Bolton playing in my ear with constant interruptions that say " Did you know there are ways to wait even longer...try our website at and you'll get even slower answers." HA HA ...Gosh, I am a witty chick! :)

Anyway, today I want to tell you what I am learning through this waiting process. I am learning the following from waiting....

1. I am learning that God loves me so much that he will sharpen me in any way possible even if it takes him time.

2. I am learning that God's always the ultimate in happiness and satisfaction.

3. I am learning that I love myself and am going to take the time to really wait on things that God has.

4. I am learning that each day is only 24 hours and if I spend it griping about what I am waiting on..I don't see what I have.

5. I am learning I have the best friends that God has ever made.

6. I am learning that I have great family and they understand waiting too.

7. I am learning that I have desires and hobbies that would not have been explored if I wasn't waiting.

8. Mostly, I am learning that waiting doesn't kill makes me stronger!

Anyway, I hope that today as you wait....either on your White chocolate mocha at Starbucks or on something as huge as healing of will remember...waiting can be good! Thanks for stopping in everyone and wait with grace!

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 13, 2005:

1. Napolean Dynamite is freaking hilarious and every line gets funnier by the day.

2. I have grown to really like Eminem..even though he is an angry guy...he's entertaining.

3. I have really great qualities that attract great people...look at my friends! All of you are just beautiful!

4. I like the anticipation of a busy week and feeling purpose in my life.

5. Christopher's smile is absolulutely priceless to me when I miss him!

Thankfulness March 13, 2005:

I am thankful that God has trusted me in such an amazing way to let me be Christopher's nanny. I am thankful that he not only got me the job but let me know such a beautiful child who has taught me immeasurable lessons. I am also thankful that he has such a great father who is my boss and who helps me see the truth in life. I am thankful that Chris is healthy and strong and growing daily. I am thankful that Chris has helped me see the truth about children and what they bring to a life. I am thankful that Chris is here and a part of my life at least for a season. Thank you GOd and thank you my lil christopher! :)


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Eros versus Agape!

Tonight I come to you after a few days of R & R and I am very happy that I got some. Some days you even need to take a break from your blog. Anyway, tonights topic is Love. Love is a four letter word to some because it has hurt them so deeply. Lately I have been taking a better look at love. I have learned the difference between Eros love and Agape love. Eros love is romantic, emotional, feeling love. It's a beautiful thing and can really make you feel great inside but there is nothing that compares to Agape love. Agape love is the same kind of love that God loves us with. It's a sacrificial love!

This love is have to just do it! I am learning that it is the kind of love that I really want. I want to love someone with Eros love but I want it to go deeper than that. I am praying for that love to come about. If it does, I am game and willing to take it's hand and run with it. If it doesn't....Again...I'll wait for HIM~

Tonight, I challenge you to love the people in your life with an agape love. Love people the right way! It's so important!

Anyway, here are my learning and thankfulness for the last couple of days!

Learning March 11, 2005:

1. Some times people aren't what they seem to be.

2. I appreciate when people like my honesty and don't disrespect it.

3. I have been able to see my attractive features lately.

4. My mom taught me something cool on Friday but I forgot it!

5. I love taking a's my favorite thing.

Learning March 12, 2005:

1. Meeting new people and getting to know them can be so fun.

2. God does things in hilarious ways and you just have to wait it out and see his plan.

3. Everyone should consolidate their student loans NOW!

4. Children are such a blessing and can be great teachers in life.

5. Cheesecake can unite people. (remember golden girls?)

Thankfulness March 11, 2005:

I am thankful for meeting new people and realizing the world is made up of all types. I am thankful that people are able to share their heart with me and know that I will treat it nicely. I am thankful that they can tell me what they really feel and not be in fear of my reaction or treatment of them.

Thankfulness March 12, 2005:

I am thankful for someone new I met on Saturday. His name is Arlando and he is a cool person. He has much to bring to the table and has a million and one great characteristics. I think he is going to be an amazing man his whole life. God has blessed me with his friendship and getting to know him. I have no idea what his purpose in my life is but I am blessed by him. Thanks Arlando and thanks God :)


Friday, March 11, 2005

Denial and other "D" Words

Good Morning all! I hope that this Friday brings you much peace and great plans for the weekend. I don't think I have any grand plans other than getting to know some new people, relaxing, doing my hobbies, learning, and going to church for the 2nd week running. Lately I have been praying for God to show me the real me and the things I really need to work on. I have been open to hearing from him and I know that some of the things that he points out, aren't going to be fun! Today's post is about one of those things. Let me start by telling you a little story...sit back, it could take a minute.

I was 16 years old and gradually becoming a very large person. I was tipping the scales at anywhere between 330-350 lbs at any given moment. I couldn't understand how I had gained so much weight but I didn't really care either because I was in immense pain. Every day going to the restroom was my worst fear. I was experiencing one of the worst kidney infections that I had ever had. I was in so much pain I would scream and literally have to hold onto a wall to go to the restroom ( I know this is explicit but it has to be).

This went on for about a month before my mom insisted that I see a physician. I have never been one to want to see a doctor and being where my pain was, I really didn't want to see one at 350 lbs. My mom took me to a walk in clinic in Bedford, Indiana and they tested my urine. It came back that not only was my urine mostly consisting of blood and infection but also, it contained a large amount of dumped sugar. This in turn, led to the diagnosis of Diabetes.

I immediately was admitted to the hospital as I was in dire need of care and mostly education. I began my journey that day on a well worn path called denial! I immediately got into an altercation with a nurse because I was adamant about not having this "old people" disease. She gave me my first insulin injection and I fought so much I received a great big purple bruise as a reward. This nurse and I, to say the very least, were not friends.

My mom was by my side every waking moment of that hospital stay and for a few months after that. At the hospital the first steps were to learn about my disease. They made me sit in my hospital room and watch video after video of diabetic care instructions. This to me was the most excruciating of the pain. I was stubborn and turned my chair where I couldn't see the screen and my more than faithful mother, watched every video.

After getting out of the hospital, if my memory serves correctly, we headed to the pharmacy where I would be picking up the ball and chain of my disease to carry around. We started by picking up my medication which was insulin and an oral medication. (note here: I am a very bad diabetic and required both) We also picked up my new favorite piece of jewelry ..the diabetic identification bracelet. We picked up a pill pack, glucose tablets, a tester, and all of the other things that made me feel 75 at the age of 16.

I was still very adamant about not ever really having this disease. It didn't matter that people told me every day that it was true, that I received the meal at the hospital that blatantly stated NO SUGAR on the utensil packet, and it certainly didn't matter that my mom gave me a shot twice a day. It was just routine ...and it made her feel better for me to take it, so who would it hurt?

Days and days went by and my life changed dramatically. My mom would make the healthiest meals that could ever be made and they were costly. She would give me my shots at exactly the right time and get me to test my blood sugar about 5-8 times a day. I grugdingly did all that she asked...not because I believed it. I did it because I loved her and I knew she was scared. My mom is a pillar of strength in crisis but there is nothing to weaken a parent like almost losing a child.

Fast forward to today...only because you are going to get tired of this story. I still don't believe I am a diabetic. I quit taking medication, going to the doctor, learning about my illness, and mostly caring. I don't wear identification, I eat sweets like a normal person, and I am terrified of admitting the huge burden I carry. Now you may be asking yourself...why is Erica sharing this?

Well, I am sharing this because I have had enough of my unhealthy denial. I am a diabetic and a very bad one at that. My eyes are starting to blur, I get bad headaches, I have had a kidney infection for going on 3 months now. I am constantly worried and concerned for my health today and in the future. Since being diagnosed I have lost a lot of weight. Since I started counting...99 lbs. I thought that was cure didn't. I thought I could work out all the time and eat barely didn't cure me! I have diabetes and it's time to live as a diabetic. I am telling you all this so you will read this and know. I want you to keep me accountable, pray for me, ask me the hard questions, and mostly love me the same way you always have.

Most of you probably already kinda knew about the illness and that I was a diabetic but I am sure you had no idea how i am living because this is the area of my life that I lie about. I probably have told you that the doctor took me off meds....NO....I took me off meds. I probably have told you that my sugar has been's never been normal. I probably have said something to you like "I feel fine" when in actuality..I am a mess. Please know that I am sorry for the lies in dealing with this but I have been grieving for 9 years. I have been overwhelmed with the burden of this disease so I chose not to carry it.

Last night, I opened up to Joel for the first time about how I feel about the disease and what it makes me feel like. He had some great insight, as always, and said something very profound to me. I said, "I think I just have high sugars once in a while" and he said "9 years of high sugars?" He's right, I am a diabetic doubt about it. I am sick, I am flawed, my body doesn't work as it should. I will never be able to live as a "normal" person and unless I want to die...I have to start living as a diabetic NOW! Today, I vow to you and to start living as a diabetic.

My first step is to do this blog and have others read it and take it in. I will be dealing with some of the more complex issues coming soon like the emotions, the struggle about death, the challenges, etc....but today my first step is to just say. I am Erica, and I AM A DIABETIC!

Thank you for reading this and I would appreciate feedback! I love you all and please pray! The reason this is pressing today is that it's getting worse and I have no medical insurance and no doctor. Please pray that I find a job soon so I can afford insurance and medication. Please pray for my safety until then! I love you all so much! Have a great day and here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days:

Learning March 9, 2005:

1. Someone told me I am pretty and you know what..I think I am.

2. I am Southern California's most romantic woman (2nd indeed!)

3. I do love so deeply and I think one day...I will healthfully too!

4. I miss my friends!!!!!

5. It's good to be praying again!

Learning March 10, 2005:

1. The newport beach public library is one of my favorite oasis' in life.

2. When your cell phone rings in a quiet place, people are really hostile to you even if it's on vibrate!

3. My guy friends are really protective of me and I am glad that they are!

4. Starting over (the show) continues to interest me

5. I hate when you buy meat and it's got too much fat and you can't tell until you cook it

Thankfulness March 9, 2005:

I am thankful for my walks at Balboa with the Lord. I am thankful that I am learning to be honest with him and know myself through knowing him and his purpose for me. I am thankful that I have this place to get away and to learn about God and talk to him. I am thankful for God's voice in dealing with my intricate details.

Thankfulness March 10, 2005:

I am thankful that Terrence thinks of me. I am thankful that I am on his mind when he watches tv, is in vegas, drives, etc...I am thankful for the little things in life like someone just saying " I was thinking about you!" I am honored to be in his thoughts. He is a stand up guy! :) *if you don't know who terrence really need to get caught up!* ;)


Thursday, March 10, 2005


I apologize but I am completely tired today and am going to write tomorrow! Sorry if you were looking for something deep today..just sleepy!


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Fear...not my God anymore!

I realized last night as I walked at Balboa and again got alone with the God of my heart and life....I am afraid of everything. For some time, fear has been my God! Fear has penetrated the very essence of who I am and what I am made of. It has so made me into the woman I am, I have no idea how to live without it. I have no idea how to be productive, loving, helpful, or even comfortable without it. Without my fear...I am but half the person I started out being. Isn't it strange how something can live within you for so long and you don't even realize it is there but the minute you try to get rid of it, it captivates you how important it really was!

I have just recently made a choice to start shedding myself before God every single day and hope that I begin to become like him by the proximity factor. In psych you learn that people start to like each other and be attracted to each other just due to proximity. Now I know you can't take everything you learn in psych and relate it to your relationship with the Heavenly father but I am almost certain you can this! I have decided to just be around God a little bit more. Not necessarily do anything SUPER spiritual or be a perfect Christian but just chill with him and see if his character rubs off and if I am fall in love with him like i should be!?

I admit that my relationship with the Lord is far from perfect and I am working to further it every single day but I am taking steps today to be a better Erica and more than Erica that pleases God and doesn't grieve him. I am frustrated and scared of so much right now but with HIS help, I should get through it. I have no idea what tomorrow or the next day may bring but this I know...I am going to stand and wait on him...This is my life song right now,..enjoy...

Hungry I come to you
For I know you satisfy
I am empty but I know
Your love, does not run dry

So I'll wait for you
So I'll wait for you

I'm falling on my knees
Offering all of me
Jesus you're all this heart is living for

Broken I come to you
For your arms are open wide
I am weary but I know your touch
Restores my life.

So I'll wait for you
So I'll wait for you

repeat chorus...

Anyway, here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday and I hope today you will give your fears to God and rest with him...get close and fall in love!

Learning March 8, 2005:

1. I like my alone time and being disturbed in that is really getting to me.

2. I enjoy accomplishing things and it makes me feel good.

3. Chicken with Cream of Mushroom soup baked in the oven is mighty tasty.

4. I really do desire after playing the piano.

5. I can let my fears go if only God is on my priority list.

Thankfulness March 8, 2005:

I am thankful for learning myself and getting to love the things about me that are unique. As I prayed yesterday I realized how I have great characteristics and I am full of things that God can use. Granted, I haven't always used them but I know that God has blessed me with raw material. I am thankful for the woman God created me to be and the ideal self that I have and all that I have accomplished thus far! Thank you God!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sometimes I simply move me!

My favorite Christian musician is this guy named Shaun Groves. He isn't particulary the most popular artist but I love his music. His first cd "Invitation to Eavesdrop" had a song on it called "Move me." It was one of my favorite tracks because it spoke multitudes about my relationship with the Lord. These are the verses of the song and you will see compares greatly...

My cup is never empty
My eyes are never dry
I'd be drunk by now if
Selfishness were wine
Seems like a million years
That I've been standing here
Holding on to all that holds me down

Let the sun burn brighter
I'll run into Your shade
Dip the sky in darkness
I'll cry out for Your day
Use bitter and sweet
To move my frozen feet
Far beyond all that holds me down

I know it's true
When I'm destitute
You come running to me
But sometimesI believe you simply


I think this song says a lot about where I am today with God. Sometimes he simply just moves me because I am not quite where I need to be. Right now, I will admit to the entire blogging public that I am struggling with God's love and grace. I have always struggled with understanding grace outside of perfection. I am learning daily that it's ok for me not to be perfect and it's healthier actually if I can make a few mistakes and feel ok about that. I know that this song is going to be a strong place for me to be for a while.

Last night after my workout at the gym, I went down to Balboa and walked a mile just talking to God and telling him my deepest and darkest fears. I am someone who tries to be motivated by love and compassion and passion of all kinds and sometimes I lose my footing and I am motivated by fear alone. Lately my actions have been completely fear motivated. I have done things that I would only do because I am afraid of the other options. It's time to step up and face my fears and live for God. I have to trust him with my heart and life. I am struggling with trusting him mainly with my heart and therefore my life.

I am fearing a lot of things right now and I have no plan of action except to drop those fears at the feet of Jesus daily. I have no other plan and I think that might be good. I need to start seeing myself as a daughter of God again or dare I say...for once! As for healing, the thing I am working most on today is the wedding. I am going to start dreaming about my wedding again. I have no groom and I am not planning on getting married any time soon but it would be good for me to see weddings and marriage as a feasible option again and see the happiness in them. Basically, that is the plan right now.

I hope if any of you are struggling with fear right now you will do what I am doing and just drop it at his feet, sometimes you will pick it back up...but just keep dropping it. There is no peace without HIM!

Well here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning March 7, 2005:

1. I have roots in California now!

2. I am enjoying new people in my life but I know their place.

3. Running is the most exhilirating thing I have ever picked up.

4. A walk with God can be so therapeutic and refuel me for ministry to others.

5. I can think about weddings in a positive sense.

Thankfulness March 7, 2005:

I am thankful that I am living so close to Balboa Island where I can spend time with God when I need to get away. I am so thankful that I have a quiet place to get away to and walk around and talk to God and not be looking crazy. I am thankful that God meets me right where I am and no matter how angry, disturbed, distracted, frustrated, fearful, or stupid I am..he loves me the same! Thank you God for your love and your listening ear! He is the best friend I have! :)


Monday, March 07, 2005


Good Morning everyone and Happy Monday to you! I do hope your new week is happy and you are finding some kind of focus on which to keep your thoughts. For me, I am in a mood of finding out what is going on in my life. Yesterday I went back to church. This may surprise you all but I had not been attending church for the last 3-4 months. There was no real reason other than I missed one sunday and then...missed several. It was so easy after I went to Indiana for about 2 weeks and was out and then when I came back, it just wasn't a priority. I was thinking about this for some time and realized the hole it leaves in my spirit to not be in church. I decided that no matter how uncomfy I was, I was going back.

Yesterday morning I got up early and spent an hour in prayer asking God to guide my steps, make me go, and let me hear from him. Boy did I!!! The sermon was about times of lamenting. Lamenting is where you are in a "valley" so to speak and you are asking God those hard questions. Some of these might be like "Why did you have me go through that specific struggle" or something like that. Well, all of you know that the last year of my life has been a struggle. I gave up a relationship with Adolfo (after 6 years) a year ago. It was one of the hardest decisions as an adult that I have ever had to make and to this day, I believe it will go down in the top 10 I will ever make in my life. Well, since that fateful day (exactly a year ago) after I watched Brigadoon...I heard God's voice so clearly and knew it was the right thing for me. I also knew it would bring much pain and some doubt.

Yesterday as I sat in church and heard the sermon, I realized that is where I have been with God. I have been lamenting. I have been really struggling with him because I knew it was the right thing, yet it has brought incredible pain and sorrow. Adolfo and I tried (I should say..I tried) to have a friendship and go out and repair the damage that we did. He did not really want a friendship with me at all and slowly but surely we lost contact. We haven't talked for about 3 months and it's been easier for me in some ways but very hard for me in others. It has made me lament more. Here are some of my questions to God regarding this hard time in my life....(I should note that these are not godly or healthy statements..just what is on my heart!)

1. Why did you let me invest 6 years in a man who you were going to take away?

2. Why can't I lose this blasted weight?

3. Why did he get a girlfriend right away and I am still waiting on Mr. Right?

4. Why am I in love with a man who can't seem to love me back?

5. Why can't I get a second job that makes me happy and helps me pay my bills?

6. Where are you in my suffering?

7. Will I ever have a wedding that actually happens?

8. Will my heart stop aching over my cancelled wedding?

I think a lot of us go through life with questions and yesterday, I learned that questions are ok. I am being honest with God right now and taking the step to listen for his voice. I know that I am in a period of waiting and some of these answers might never come. Some of them might come soon...and some of them might come in 10 years time. I have no idea God's plan for me but I have some solace knowing I don't have to understand or like the things I am going through. It's ok to grieve things.

After church yesterday I went and grabbed some hummus and pita bread and took them to a favorite picnic table in T. Winkle Park. It is a peaceful spot away from everyone and I brought my Bible, my journal, and my Purpose Driven Life book. It is hard to see God's glory through this and it's hard to see his love but right now, He's all I have. Things are not perfect and my life is tough but I am clinging to the fact that I have been in low spots before and God has come through. I feel like right now the basic problem is that I have "cereal with no milk!" I have lost 100 lbs but can't quite lose the rest. I am in love with someone for the first time, yet he can't quite love me back. I have a great job as a nanny, but I can't quite make my bills. I am frustrated and I just want one thing to pan out. I am lost for what I really need right now so all I can do is just dwell in the safety of God's arms and remember...he is building character in me..not comfort!

Well that is where I am a mixed up place. Here are my learning and thankfulness for the last few days!

Learning March 5, 2005:

1. A lot of my control issues come from the fact I want to be everything my family is not.

2. I needed to get back in fellowship with other believers and find a place of refuge.

3. Claudia is one of the best friends I have known and a great mentor.

4. I love hearing from old friends and being able to pray over their lives.

5. It's amazing the things that happen in a 2 year span.

Learning March 6, 2005:

1. I am seriously in a lamenting phase in my walk with God.

2. Church feels so good and safe to me now.

3. I am learning about Grace and how much God loves me.

4. I have to stop thinking that everything has to be done yesterday.

5. God is a confusing person to me!

Thankfulness March 5, 2005:

I am thankful for being healthy enough to handle a situation that was very hard for me and do it in an adult manner. I am very proud of myself and am very thankful for the lessons I have learned in how to deal with my own weaknesses and others. I am thankful that I am no longer a controlling woman to men and even if someone calls me that, I know the truth! I am thankful to God for continued healing on my character.

Thankfulness March 6, 2005:

I am thankful for Rock Harbor, my current church. I love Rock Harbor and the people in it. I don't really know anyone but their hearts are so pure and it doesn't feel legalistic to me or like there is some kind of obligation to how holy you must be to be in the upper ranks of holiness. I am thankful for the praise and worship where I can be alone with God and give him my faithfulness. I am thankful for an awesome message that reached into my heart and taught me about myself. I am most thankful for God being there when I needed HIM yesterday!